Sunday, September 25, 2005

Islamic clerics told to leave Somaliland

"Islamic clerics told to leave Somaliland

Authorities in Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland on Saturday warned outsiders, particularly Islamic clerics, without legitimate business there to leave immediately following the arrest of several alleged Al Qaeda operatives.

In a crackdown ordered after the arrests of five suspected members of Osama bin Laden’s network during a shootout with police on Friday, Interior Minister Ishmail Aden said non-Somalilanders illegally in the region would be deported.

“I have instructed the (Islamic) clerics from neighbouring Ethiopia and Somalia to leave the country if they do not have legal papers and are not genuine businessmen registered by relevant authorities,” Aden said. “Those who have commercial interest here may stay as long as they respect the laws of the land but others must leave as soon as possible,” he told a news conference. “This is strictly a security issue.”"


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